News from Annapolis
Delegate Trent Kittleman - District 9A
April 12, 2021
Sine Di

End of Session note
Highlight on Four Bad Bills:
  • Can 12-year-olds really be mature enough to "have the same capacity as an adult"?
  • Further limits on helping ICE
  • Further extending the reach of the Prevailing Wage
  • Paying lawyers for tenants to fight legitimate evictions
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In just three hours, the General Assembly will end after its 90 days of mischief. There won't be balloons and celebration as the House of Delegates ends this year. COVID-19 cast a pall over all we do. Only half of my House colleagues are on the floor tonight, with the other half still stuck in the Annex, feeling like the forgotten stepchildren and often deprived of their right to fairly represent their constituents.

But COVID is not the only ill wind blowing this year. Despite the severe restrictions on citizen access and input into the process and despite promises by the majority that only major bills would be processed, more "bad bills" have been passed in this year than in any year I can recall. By "bad, I am referencing bills on which virtually all of the minority Republican delegates voted "no."

My goal in writing this newsletter is to give my readers an insight into what bills we pass, but more importantly, how such bills get passed, and to some extent, why. This last week of session newsletter anticipates the the Year-End Letter.
House Bill 132
Legislature seeks to empower 12-year olds to overrule parents on help sought for mental health
"A minor who is...12 years old or older who is determined by a health care provider to be mature and capable of giving informed consent has the same capacity as an adult to consent to consultation, diagnosis, and treatment of a mental or emotional disorder."

"A Health Care Provider may decide to provide information to a parent, guardian, or custodian of a minor . . . "
Below is the voting record on HB 132.
Every Republican voted AGAINST the bill.
All but 3 Democrats voted FOR the bill.
The bill passed 92 - 44
HB 23
Personal Information - State and Local Agencies - Restrictions on Access ("Maryland Driver Privacy Act")
This bill modifies Maryland’s Public Information Act (PIA) to require any agent of the State or political subdivision to deny inspection of specified records, and deny facial recognition searches, by any federal agency seeking access in order to enforce federal immigration law unless provided with a valid warrant.

In addition, a person who receives such information under PIA may not disclose the information to any federal agency seeking access in order to enforce federal immigration law unless presented with a valid warrant.
Below is the voting record on HB 23
Every Republican voted AGAINST the bill.
Eight Democrats voted with us, AGAINST the bill
But the bill passed 86 - 47
HB 37:
Prevailing Wage - Applicability
This Bill was vetoed by Governor Hogan. The veto was then overriden by the legislature.

Every year, this legislature expands its control over wage and salaries in the private sector, particularly by its application of the Prevailing Wage. The "Prevailing Wage" is shorthand for the union wage.

Currently, employers are required to pay the "prevailing wage" if:
  1. the state's portion of the job is 50% or more, and
  2. the dollar value of the contract is over $500,000.

The bill reduces the 50% to 25% and reduces the value of the contract from $500,000 to just $250,000. Both of these changes will bring many more contract under the prevailing wage edict.
Below is the voting record on HB 132.
Every Republican voted AGAINST the bill.
NO Democrats voted FOR the bill.
The bill passed 93 - 40
HB 18
Landlord & Tenant - Residential Tenants - Access to Counsel
This bill establishes the “Access to Counsel in Evictions Special Fund,” in order to provide covered individuals (individuals whose income is less than half the state’s median income) access to counsel in eviction proceedings, whether the eviction is based on a tenant’s (1) failure to pay rent, (2) holding over, or (3) a breach of lease.

The bill further provides that "legal representation includes all representation by an attorney beyond brief legal advice and is not limited to the formal entry of appearance in court.”
Every Republican voted AGAINST HB-18
Every Democrats but one voted FOR the bill
The bill passed 94 - 43
These four bills are just the "tip of the ice burg." There are well over 100 bills that passed with virtually every Republican voting AGAINST and all or almost all of the Democrat members voting FOR.

Look for many more of these bills in my End-of-Year Letter next week, as well as information on how to look up a vote on any bill.